Sunday, October 28

diary of a happy girl

I'm fully aware that I rarely open up on my blog, but I'm feeling kinda chatty today and thought I would just ramble about total rubbish that's currently occurring in my life. These are the type of posts I love to read, so thought you might too? Well, this was the Twitter reaction!




Firstly, my obsession for the app 'Hay Day' has gotten totally out of control, to the point my boyfriend Rich is obsessed too. If you ever overheard us, you might think we're slightly mad..."please can you check the farm, think the butter is ready for the cheesecake". It's basically like a cool version of Farmville but much more addictive and well, cooler. It drains my battery, often loses connection and apparently wastes internet usage but I LOVE it.

Secondly, I never thought it was possible for me to be so busy but apparently it is. I'm working as a manger in a children's shop (ooohh), which is really enjoyable and rewarding. Some days are long and tiring, but I would much rather be where I am than at University. Plus, working full time definitely comes with the benefit of extra money to spend! Although I really should be saving for the new Citroen I'm getting in March...

As most people know, I run my own website too. This often feels like a second job because I literally do everything for this as well. Ordering stock, paying suppliers, wrapping orders and doing accounts! But its all worth it because The Beauty Closet is a year old now and I'm SO proud. I would love to invest some more money in making it look super cool but for now, its doing really well. I get orders every day which is amazing!

I like to think of myself as a bit of a business woman, gaining a little bit of extra money whenever I can. I recently started Mystery Shopping which I can't reveal too much about. However, I just got paid for my first month and it's been pretty fun. At the moment, I'm testing the 'Think 25' scheme. Despite being old enough to purchase alcohol, its the law to ID people if they look under 25. I pick the jobs I want, when I want, go and buy some alcohol and see if they ask me for ID. Then, I fill in a questionnaire within 24 hours about the experience. It's actually quite hard work and doesn't pay great, but it takes 10 minutes, you get a bit of money and keep the alcohol. I don't know how long I'll do it for but I've got another job tomorrow night after work.

Other things going on in my life are obviously this little blog and my YouTube. I've been putting lots of time and effort into this recently and it's really paying off. I'm currently finding YouTube harder to find the time to sit and film (as you can tell), but I like the think that's another success too. I casually took the train up to London today to see Hannah and Dionne which was absolutely brilliant. Despite putting myself out on the internet, I'm quite a private person when it comes to friends. I find it really hard to trust girls (bad experiences in the past) and I'm the girl who would rather spend every day with her boyfriend. But YouTube has given me the opportunity to meet amazing people and although we all live miles away from each other, I really do class Dionne and Hannah as genuine close friends. I'm super grateful!

Speaking of boyfriend, Rich is genuinely one of the best things in my life right now. I think I'd be a lost person without him. He's treating me to dinner and James Bond this week, yipeee! I can't believe we've only been together a few months, it honestly feels like years. Maybe because we do so much together, but I like it that way. 

Apart from working like a crazy girl and spending nearly every evening with Rich, I'm not up to much else. Enjoying lots of things on telly and waiting for 90210 to start again. The next big plans for me will be Christmas; we go away skiing and I'll be vlogging ;) I literally cannot wait to put on my ski boots and get back out on the slopes. We aren't sure where we're going yet, but I'll be sure to tell you once we've booked it. 


posy picture from some outfit posts today 

It's half term now which means it's going to be busy at work next week, I'm tired just thinking about it. Hope you enjoyed this 'diary' type post? Shall I do them more often? Have a good week. Gotta go, TOWIE is on!

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Wednesday, October 24

John Frieda Frizz-Ease/Luxurious Volume Range


Alongside Aussie, I've always loved John Frieda. They cater for all types of hair and have such an incredible range of products to suit pretty much anyone! Back in July, I blogged about 4 of my favourite products from the 'Frizz-Ease range' which you can read about here. I was recently kindly sent three to try out and see what I thought. To be honest, I knew they wouldn't let me down because John Frieda is a brand I really love and trust. 








Frizz-Ease Shampoo*
I had doubts about this because I'd heard it to be quite drying. I was surprised when it made my hair really smooth and I almost didn't need conditioner! It helped tame the frizz (yes, a product that actually lives up to its claims!) just like all the others from the range. What I love most about this product is the texture. It's quite thick, unlike my Aussie shampoo which is really 'runny' and I can't work it thoroughly through my hair. This is great for really getting the roots. You can see in the image of me brushing my hair how much it tamed the frizz.

Luxurious Volume Conditioner*
I've never tried any products from this range for one reason. I don't aim to get volume in my hair. I've already got very thick hair and its not a style I tend to go for. However, despite this claiming to 'thicken' my hair, I noticed it actually reduced the damage. It left my hair feeling stronger and split ends looking much better! Usually, I have loads of hair malt and fall out in clumps, but for the first time in ages, hardly any hair fell out when I brushed it. I was so surprised and will definitely be investing in the Shampoo to work with this!

To make my hair super sleek and straight, I used a bit of John Frieda 3-day straight, a product I've re-purchased many times before and swear by it! I then decided to try both the Shampoo and Conditioner with my hair curly, and as expected the results were just as good!




Luxurious Volume Thickening Mousse*
I'm currently using the 'Frizz-Ease' mousse from John Frieda for my naturally curly hair but didn't think much of it until I tried this. Firstly, it smells amazing! A lot better than the Frizz-Ease one however, the smell does wear off after a few hours. If you use just the right amount, it creates tight curls and like it claims, thickens at the roots. I do admit, it did add volume to my curls once they dried making my hair lovely and bouncy. I love it and will be buying my mum a bottle of her own as she keeps pinching it too!

Overall
After being a huge fan of the Frizz-Ease range, I think I'm liking the Luxurious Volume a little bit more. I love the fact it has strengthened my hair, leaving it healthy and happy! The conditioner is wonderful to use and the mousse worked really well for my hair. Highly recommend if yours is like mine. The Frizz-Ease shampoo is okay, I think the Luxurious Volume Shampoo will work better so I'll be purchasing that at the weekend. I'm now really wanting to try more, especially the 'Anytime Volume Refresher'! 


What do you think? Do you like John Frieda products?
You can read more about the John Frieda Luxurious Volume Range

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Monday, October 22

Benefit £10 Skincare Set!



I love Benefit. I swear by their 'They're Real' mascara, always reach for Hoola Bronzer and can't live without High Beam to brighten my complexion. I've never really looked into their skincare though. 

Whilst at the Benefit counter in Bournemouth at the weekend, I got chatting to the Boutique Manager Sophie, who suggested products for my dry skin (and told me make-up wipes are worse than I thought, despite washing and cleansing!)

Therefore, I picked up this skin care set full of 6 travel size samples for only £10. Also known as the 'b.right radiant' set, I thought it would be a great way for me to try Benefit skincare before spending the money on the full size products. 

The kit comes with:
  • Refined Finish Facial Polish - smoothest surface facial exfoliator
  • Triple Performing Facial Emulsion - sheer oil-free facial lotion SPF 15
  • Total Moisture Facial Cream - Hydra-concentrated facial cream
  • It's Potent! Eye Cream - Brightening eye cream to fade dark circles
  • Moisture Prep Toning Lotion - Smoothing lotion to prep face for mosturizer
  • Foamingly Clean Facial Wash - 1-Step gentle facial wash



I absolutely love the fact the packaging is actually a clear bag, perfect for taking travelling, especially as I stay between my house and the boyfriends half the week.

The sizes of the products are generous enough (roughly 9g each), you can't complain for only a tenner. They would probably last between 1-2 weeks. This is plenty of time to try out and see what you do or don't like. I would also probably recommend this more for people with dry skin.

The packaging of the products is simplistic and very sleek. Unlike Benefit's famous 'fun' prints and names these are clearer, something I really like about the range. 

I also LOVE the smell! I've been trying all sorts of skincare recently and the biggest off-putter is the smell! My Clinique moisturiser is amazing but stinks of play-dough, yuck. These are gorgeous, I can't say I dislike any of them. Nothing is doubled up either, which often happens to make a set look like it has more inside. 

However, I do have a down-fall! I'm still learning about skin care, but I felt a little lost working out what everything was for! As a beginner it's not very easy, despite having an information leaflet inside. Would be good to have a 'step-by-step' or something. I mean, what's the difference between the 'Triple Performing Facial Emulsion'  and the 'Total Moisture Facial Cream'? Moisturisers? Is one for morning or night?

Check out their advert I found on YouTube, might be quite helpful if you are interested in their Skincare range!





This is definitely a set I would give to a friend, its a great way to try Benefit Skincare products and it's really reasonable too. It's available on Feel Unique with Free delivery and a Free sample of Sun Beam!


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Sunday, October 21

Bournemouth Bloggers

Yesterday, I went along to a meet-up held by the beautiful Hannah from baileycakes where we enjoyed a lot of chit chat, good food and drink and a cheeky stop in Benefit. It was so nice to meet other bloggers who live close to me, I can't wait until the next one now!


Hannah, Me, Megan, Leanne & Hannah (+ Becca & photographer Joe!)




We started in Aruba, having a few cocktails and a good chat to get to know each other before heading down towards town for some lunch. We then popped into Debenhams and had such a laugh in Benefit (as you can tell!). The MUA Sophie was super generous, giving us all samples, make up lessons and offering us a day at their 'brow bar', yipeee! 

Hannah had organised little goodie bags and had us vote for 'best blog' and 'best dressed'. I was flattered, as I won 'best blog!'. Check out my prizes!



Whilst in Benefit, I couldn't resist picking up this skincare set for only £10! I thought it would be great way for me to try them all and see what I like best. Then I'll ask Santa for Christmas ;)


Have to say a HUGE thank you to Hannah, I had a wonderful day and can't wait until the next one!

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Wednesday, October 17

Wednesday Wishlist #5


I might make this a regular thing each week as I just can't help but scroll through pages and pages online and lust over more things! Naughty Brogan.

  • I spotted this little dress online and love the style. The belt is so pretty too, wish I could buy one similar on its own! It's not too bad a price at £33 either. I think I'll place an order.
  • If you know me, you'll know I lurrveee Hollister. I'm lacking some staple pieces for winter and love this jumper they do. The quality is amazing and worth paying extra for.
  • MoroccanOil is something I've wanted to try for ages. If you have it, is it worth it? My ends are really dry, especially coming into winter now. I might get the small size and try it.
  • I love UGG boots. I don't care if some people thing they're ugly, they match loads of outfits, are comfy and last ages. I have two pairs but these babies are already on my Christmas list.
  • Finally, scarves are a great accessory and keep you warm. Found this for a fiver in the River Island sale....Do I need another one?!

What are you lusting over? Are you buying new winter things or waiting for Christmas now?

You can read my last 'Heritage Edition' wishlist here.
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PS. I have Facebook now! I would really love if you went over and gave it a cheeky like. You'll be the first to get all my update etc ;)
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Monday, October 15

Gel Nails...Are They Worth It?

On Saturday, I went and got a Luxury Gel Manicure at Chelsea Nails in Poole. I was invited for a Complimentary Treatment* so firstly have to say a HUGE thank you to Chelsea. It was extremely generous and she has now gained a new customer from me!

Nail History
When I was 15, I used my pay check from my waitress job to get Acrylic nails done. I went to a Chinese salon who drilled, damaged and basically ruined my nails. After a year, they were looking very sorry for themselves. I tried to grown them out but I just broke and chipped them all the time (very frustrating). I have a confession bad habit of biting my nails too, especially when I'm anxious or stressed. For the past few months, I've been sticking nails on but the glue isn't exactly nice and they often ping off at the most inappropriate times!



What are Gel Nails?
You can get gel extensions (like acrylics) or just the 'UV polish' on your natural nails. This is the option I went for despite having really short nails. It meant less damage to them and a long lasting colour, so no chipping or re-painting!

How does it work?
Cured under a UV lamp, the colour dries instantly and stays super glossy for roughly 3 weeks. There are options available in natural, coloured, french or glitter finishes. The process takes about 40 minutes with a coat applied and repeated after leaving your hand under the light for a few minutes. It is super easy and comfortable.



Luxury Gel Manicure
Chelsea gave me a 'luxury' manicure which involved leaving my hands feeling super soft and youthful. The treatment lasted 60 minutes while she softened, pushed back and trimmed my cuticles. My hands were then buffed, massaged and smothered in moisturising hand cream (which smelt amazing!), before being wrapped in warm mittens for around 10 minutes to give ultra soft, nourished hands. This was so relaxing, and really improved my dry skin. She finished by filing and shaping my nails before applying my chosen nail colour. I went for a black with glitter in, as this matched my outfit and I thought would go with any other outfits over the next few weeks. Next time, I'll be picking a warm, neutral Autumn shade.

How do you remove them?
Chelsea recommended soaking them in acetone if I wanted them off but it's much better to go back to your Nail Technician and have them properly removed. Or, just have them re-done when the re-grown is starting to show. 

How much are they?
It varies from salon to salon but Chelsea is super cheap at only £15 for the gel polish and £20 for the luxury. You get a stamp on her business card and after 6 visits, a free gift! Ooohh. I'm happy to pay this as to me, it saves so much time painting them. Lifting boxes at work means they often chip after a day or two, but with the Gel manicure, no problems at all!


Would I recommend them?
Absolutely. It felt really odd not having to wait for them to dry and after a few days, they obviously haven't budged or caused me any problems. I'm quite harsh with my nails but I don't have to worry about them chipping at all. As you can see, my nails are really short so I'm going to leave the Gel on and let them grow. They honestly look a million times better in person. I've been getting lots of compliments, even from my boyfriend!

If you live near Poole or Bournemouth, I really recommend popping to see Chelsea in her salon. You can find her details on her website here. How cute is the set up too?! I was allowed a cheeky cupcake and given the cotton gloves and a nail file as well. When I left, I felt really happy and pleased with my visit. I've never been able to communicate well with technicians like I did with Chelsea, she was great to chat to and didn't hurt me one bit. I'll be back soon to get them re-done!


What do you think? Do you have Gel Nails or are you interested in getting them done?

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*This is not a sponsored post, I didn't have to write it but I was just so happy with the treatment I received, I think Chelsea Nails deserves the recognition :)
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Friday, October 12

The Beauty Closet: New Stock #2


I am fully aware my last post was about The Beauty Closettoo so I'll make this one short and sweet, but just LOOK! I got a bit carried away excited and ordered some more new stock. The bags are amazing, they have a clutch wrist and long strap to wear it either way. The snowflake earrings come in gold too and are so lovely for Christmas. Plus, I think I'm in love with the arm warmers, they would look adorable with my new Zara coat.

Don't forget, I've got a little code for FREE SHIPPING running until Sunday for my lovely blog readers. Just enter 'brogantatexo' at the checkout to redeem it. Happy shopping and have a great weekend! I'm in a fabulous mood :)



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Wednesday, October 10

The Beauty Closet: New Stock #1

As well as working full time, writing this blog, running my YouTube and completing varies other projects, I also have my own website called The Beauty Closet. I rarely write specific posts on here as I wouldn't want you to feel forced into buying anything, but it's my little baby and I work really hard on making it bigger and better. 

I've been getting lots of new stock in recently and thought I would do a quick little over-view post. I'm going to film a video too because lots of people like to physically see things.



Battery Operated Lights 

The newest addition to my website is lights! I'v been searching high and low for super pretty, affordable ones and picked these three to suit lots of different people. The first is called 'Moroq' which my mum absolutely loves. In fact, she's already got a set for herself. (Cheeky mum!) These give off the most gorgeous glow around a room. The second are the white pom poms. They look so nice in the dark, especially around a bed frame. Finally, the 'Rose Puff' lights. These are my favourite because they look lovely during the day as decoration too. All three are battery operated (no silly wires), requiring 3 x AA batteries. They make great gifts (especially for Christmas) for family, friends or even yourself! £15 each


Skull Bracelets


With skulls making a huge statement recently, I've been looking for perfect bracelets which are affordable too. At only £3 each, I've already pinched one of each colour for myself! The black and white one looks great with a mix of other bracelets, especially on a night out. Elasticated to fit anyone, you can't really go wrong with these. They make great Christmas presents :)


Jewellery

Here is a section of three new pieces of jewellery I got in. The necklace are both long and sit just below the 'breast' area (haha). I've been looking everywhere for a nice moustache ring, this one is adjustable and only £3! 


Decoration

I have a variety of hooks on the website but nothing which was really pretty and girly. I saw this bird and flower one and fell in love! If you have a plain white room, this would look great on the wall for all your scarves, bags, belts, coats etc. They're only £6.75 too! Also, one of the best selling items is the Rose Garland which I now stock in dark pink too! £8 each. 


I've opened up a discount code for my lovely readers for FREE SHIPPING until Sunday 14th. Enter Code 'brogantatexo' at checkout to redeem!


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OOTD: Brown Leather

Top - TKMaxx
Jacket - Zara
Jeggins - Forever 21
Boots - New Look
Bag - Topshop

I treated myself to a new bag and coat at the weekend and I think I'm in love! I found the skull top in TKMaxx by a brand called 'ISSI', it has three-quarter length sleeves and fits really nicely. My jeggings are my absolutely favourite from Forever 21 and as seen in my last outfit posts, I've been living in my New Look brown boots. I've been looking for a new brown bag for ages, I nearly caved and got the Zara 'bucket' bag that everyone has but it just isn't very practical for me! I then found this in Topshop but it looked like the last one and didn't have a tag on either. Not sure if it was returned or old stock, but I grabbed it straight away. I love the Zara jacket too, they do it in black which is gorgeous as well but I went for brown as I wear that colour more.



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Thursday, October 4

Another Haul


Oops, went shopping again! 


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Wednesday, October 3

She Said Beauty | October 2012

Out of all the beauty box subscriptions around, I've always loved and supported She Said  Beauty. I've met some of the people behind the brand and they're helpful, friendly and genuine. I love the concept of their website too. I got my first box a few months ago when I saw the previous one had full size St Tropez and lashes. I was so impressed when I received four full size samples in my first one but since then, it's been going a little downhill. I was disappointed with two Collection products last month and I'm honestly not impressed with this month either.


What I received:
Cellinque Advanced Bio renew Masque
B.Liv Off With Those Heads
Herbacin Wuta Kamille Hand Cream
Biao beauty Rejuvenating Night Creme
Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Travel Size Lotion
Myvitamins "SSB Treat"



Okay firstly, how many creams?! You've got cocoa cream, hand cream, night crème moisturiser and err spot cream.

Secondly, beauty boxes to me are about trying high end products before buying. I appreciate they don't include overly priced products, because lets face it, we'd use the sample and never buy the product. However, the two 'full size' products are worth £1 each. I really don't want to be receiving things like this, it defeats the point of trying something expensive before buying it.

She Said put THREE of the products in dollars. I mean, how are we meant to know how much they're really worth? I had to work out the prices of these samples and it comes to a total of about £7.64 without the "bonus extra".  Therefore, the contents don't make up the value which is a real first for She Said. Have I gained much by spending £11.95 on this box? Not really. 

Do we have two products from the same brand too? B.liv by Cellnique and the Cellnique masque? Hhhmm. The Palmer's butter is SO old too, my mum bought that YEARS ago. I'm pretty sure most people own it or have previously. I'd like to be trying new products please! I like the concept of the 'extra' but Vitamins?! NO, it's a beauty box!

Finally, the samples are TINY. I rummaged through the box to find more... What happened to the full size, larger products? There's not enough inside the Cellinqiue Masque to get a real feel of it!

The only good thing about this are two packets of the biao beauty night moisturiser. Two though? Is that to make up for the fact the samples are all so small? I checked and I'm glad I didn't get the Amy Child's perfume though...

I'm not happy with boxes any more. They're a bit of rip off and I just don't get excited like I used to. Unfortunately, this has left me unsubscribing to She Said Beauty but I'll still use their website and read their blog. I'll be buying my samples off eBay and asking at more counters to save money. 

What do you think? Were you happy with your box and the products or left feeling disappointed too?

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